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Israel PM Netanyahu Says ISIS and Hamas share same Similarities; calls for war on the two Group

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(Photo: Screenshoot/CBN News Youtube)

Christian Post reports – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday before the United Nations in New York that those who support the fight against ISIS but not Palestinian group Hamas don’t understand how similar the two Islamic militant groups really are. He also said that Iran and its nuclear capabilities are even more dangerous than ISIS.

“Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS, and yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree,” Netanyahu asserted.

The Israeli PM talked about his country’s recent war with Hamas over the Gaza strip, which left over 2,000 people dead.

“ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control,” he said.

“As Hamas’ charter makes clear, Hamas’ immediate goal is to destroy Israel, but Hamas has a broader objective. They also want a caliphate. Hamas shares the global ambitions of its fellow militant Islamists, and that’s why its supporters wildly cheered in the streets of Gaza as thousands of Americans were murdered in 9/11, and that’s why its leaders condemn the United States for killing Osama bin Laden whom they praised as a holy warrior.”

In his detailed speech he made reference to Iran leaders, including General Mohammad Ali Jafari, calling for an Islamic world government, even if Iran has declared itself opposed to ISIS’ attacks in Iraq and Syria.

“Make no mistake: ISIS must be defeated. But to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power is to win the battle and lose the war,” Netanyahu proclaimed.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has criticized both ISIS and the American response, telling NBC News earlier in September that ISIS militants “want to kill humanity.”

… Read More

Beagle Returns Lost Items To Passengers At Amsterdam Airport

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Many says Traveling can be a pain when you forget things or lose personal items, especially after a long flight. But, not so anymore, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is on a mission to reunite lost items as soon as possible with their legitimate owner. A perfect solution to recover your lost items

Video Captures Thrilling Amusement Park Ride

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Credit : DLRP-Magic.com

Even just watching this had my heart racing. Don’t get me wrong, I love amusement park rides, but this one is on a whole other level. Its name is Talocan, and it’s located in Phantasialand in Germany. This is one ride that is sure to take your breath away. Would you be brave enough to ride it? – says SF Globe

A Mother Meets The Person Who Took Her Daughter’s Heart

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Credit : lordofpraise

The story of 13 year old Taylor Storch is so heartbreaking and inspirational. After she tragically died in a ski accident, she left behind her organs to save the lives of others. This is the video of her mother meeting the women who has taylor’s heart now and hearing it beat again!

 When the stethoscope gets put up to Patricia’s chest, the emotions start flying. Even the news casters can’t keep back their tears.

A Mother Meets The Person Who Took Her Daughter’s Heart

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Credit : lordofpraise

The story of 13 year old Taylor Storch is so heartbreaking and inspirational. After she tragically died in a ski accident, she left behind her organs to save the lives of others. This is the video of her mother meeting the women who has taylor’s heart now and hearing it beat again!

 When the stethoscope gets put up to Patricia’s chest, the emotions start flying. Even the news casters can’t keep back their tears.

Newborn Baby Refuses To Be Seperated From Her Mother’s Seconds After Being Born

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This woman had just given birth to a healthy child when she, and everyone else in the delivery room got a major surprise. While being held, this newborn clutches to her mother’s face in a moment of pure love.

SF Globe says can’t stop replaying this powerful footage. Everyone needs to see this.

Meriam Ibrahim Encourages Naghmeh Abedini to Stay Strong for Her Children

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Meriam Ibrahim Encourages Naghmeh Abedini to Stay Strong for Her Children
(Photo: The Christian Post/Stephanie Samuel)

Christian Post reports – Taking the stage at the Values Voter Summit Gala with her husband, Daniel Wani, Meriam Ibrahim encouraged Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini, with stories about caring for her children Martin and Maya.

With the help of an interpreter, Ibrahim called Naghmeh Abdini “her sister” and told her “Do not fear; be strong. Take care of your kids and the Lord will be with you.”

Naghmeh Abedini shared a video during the gala from her children. In the video, 6-year-old Jacob said his heart is “crying” because he “misses Daddy a lot, lot, lot, lot, lot, lot, a thousand lots.” Eight-year-old Rebekka said “I prayed that dad comes back home but he’s still not back home”

Abedini also said that although many people praise her, she does not feel courageous at all. Instead she feels tired.

The Sudanese Christian shared her struggles to care for her children while in jail. She said it was particularly hard to care for her son who was also very sad and confused by his father’s absence.

Ibrahim married Wani, a Sudanese immigrant to the United States, in 2011. In August 2013, a relative charged that Ibrahim is a Muslim because her estranged father was a Muslim. Although Ibrahim was raised as a Christian and never practiced Islam, the relative asserted that Ibrahim unlawfully converted to Christianity to marry Wani and was committing adultery. She was jailed in February 2014 and later sentenced to 100 lashes and death by hanging.

Ibrahim was pregnant with Maya in prison. Her son Martin was also by her side. Wani was able to visit his wife and children in prison but only for 10 minutes at a time.

“That was the most difficult time for me because Martin would want to go with him and grab on to him and I would stand there unable to do anything because he’s a child. He didn’t understand why he was in jail through no fault of his. He didn’t understand why kids were able to play outside and enjoy themselves and be with their parents, their fathers and mothers,” described Ibrahim.

Ibrahim tried to encourage him saying “Do not be sad; you must be proud of your mother. I am not a criminal. The Lord is with us.”

Ibrahim was finally released in June after an appeals court overturned the lower court’s ruling. Wani and Ibrahim were escorted out of the country by Italian officials after the couple was detained during their first attempt to travel to America.

… Read More

 

Source : Christian Post

 

News Anchors Perform Elaborate Handshake During 2-Minute Commercial Break

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WGN News anchors Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange have been together for many years. This whole thing started out really small and simple. And then along came the internet, and a video camera, and you tube, and here we are with the funniest dance routine since that scene in Big. It’s the original, What News Anchors Do During Commercial Breaks. This one has the nat sound, not cheesy music.

The news can often be a bummer, but watching these anchors have some fun behind-the-scenes really put a smile on my face.
Watch their hilarious commercial break below and tell us your thoughts in the comments!

D. Westry (The Master Speed Painter) wowed audience with an Iconic performance by completing an amazing speed painting in only 1minute and 22 seconds.

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D. Westry (The Master Speed Painter) wowed audience with an Iconic performance by completing an amazing speed painting in only 1 minute and 22 seconds

Missionaries Call for Intercessors to Draw a Blood Line Against Ebola

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Missionaries Call for Intercessors to Draw a Blood Line Against Ebola
SIM is asking Christians around the world to pray that God would stop the deadly virus in West Africa. (SIM)

SIM, the global mission organization of which SIM USA is a part, is encouraging Christians around the world to set aside Monday through Oct. 5 and pray that God would stop the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

SIM encourages prayer specifically for the people of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak has been most severe. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 3,000 people already have died from Ebola, and more than 6,200 probable, confirmed and suspected cases of the disease have been reported. Experts say infections from the Ebola epidemic could soar to 1.4 million by mid-January.

“Our aim is that prayers will be raised continually throughout the entire week on behalf of those infected and affected by the Ebola virus,” said Joshua Bogunjoko, international director of SIM. “Though we are troubled by this outbreak, we do not despair. Though we grieve, we are not without hope. For two millennia, the church has prioritized the sick and marginalized. We are called to do no less today.”

The infection and death rates continue to rise in the region. SIM urges prayer specifically for health-care workers, grieving families, church and government leaders, and protection for those who come in contact with the deadly disease.

SIM USA had two of the three American missionary workers who contracted Ebola in Liberia and were evacuated to the U.S. for treatment.

SIM asks individuals and churches to particularly set aside Sunday, Oct. 5, as a day for focused prayer in stemming the tide of Ebola. The group asks Christians to pray individually, in groups and as church bodies for God to break the grip the deadly disease has upon the people of West Africa.

“We know that when Christians unite in prayer and call upon God, he acts,” Bogunjoko said. “We have witnessed countless examples of God answering the prayers of his people—from seemingly everyday requests to world-changing events. This is no different. We hope millions of Christians around the world will join us as we ask God to deliver us from this horrendous Ebola outbreak.”

The latest updates on SIM’s role in the Ebola epidemic in Liberia are available atsimusa.org.

Source : Chrisma News

What Does the Bible Really Say About Alcohol?

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What Does the Bible Really Say About Alcohol?
(Photo: via Suttersstock/RelevanceMagazine)

Relevance Magazine has a report – Here are your keys,” muttered the secretary when I arrived to pick up the keys to my office at Aberdeen University, where I would be studying for my doctorate in theology. “It looks like you’re in The Old Brewery.”

Intrigued by the name, I later found out that it reflected the building’s original function. Aberdeen was founded in the 15th century and used to train monks for ministry. In the brewery, monks brewed vast quantities of Scottish ale, which was served by the liter at mealtimes. And here I was, a post-fundamentalist Ph.D. student studying the Scriptures in a malted sanctuary where late medieval Bible college students once clapped mugs together in an act of worship.

Throughout Christian history, alcohol was rarely a taboo as it is in some circles today. John Calvin had a stipend of 250 gallons of wine per year written into his church contract. Martin Luther’s wife was a famed brewer of beer, which certainly won Martin’s heart. And the Guinness family created their renowned Irish Stout as an act of worship to Jesus. From Bordeaux to Berlin, wine and beer have always been part of church tradition. But what was once considered the nectar of heaven was later condemned as the devil’s libation.

A Smart Approach

Even though some Christians advocate for the total abstinence of alcohol as a moral mandate for all believers, the Bible never requires all believers to abstain from alcohol. It condemns drunkenness and being enslaved to wine (Ephesians 5:18; Titus 2:3), but it never says that tee-totaling is the better way to obey God. In fact, the Bible never says that abstaining from alcohol is the wisest way to avoid getting drunk. Think about it. Alcoholism has been rampant through every age, but the Bible never says that all believers should therefore refrain from drinking.

If Christians want to forbid all alcohol consumption to avoid drunkenness, then to be consistent, they should also avoid making a lot of money to guard against the crushing sin of materialism and the misuse of wealth.


If Christians want to forbid all alcohol consumption to avoid drunkenness, then to be consistent, they should also avoid making a lot of money to guard against the crushing sin of materialism and the misuse of wealth.

Alcohol as a Witness

I sometimes hear that when Christians drink, it ruins their testimony. But quite honestly, I’ve never understood this line of thinking. It’s one thing if you’ve struggled with alcoholism or are ministering in a Muslim country, but for the most part, most non-Christians I know are turned off by the arbitrary dos and don’ts created by modern Christians. I’m not convinced that if my unbelieving neighbor sees me slipping into a pub, I will lose much traction to my Gospel witness. In many cases, the Gospel will shine brighter when you break down wrong assumptions about Christianity by having a beer with your neighbor.

When we strip away all the man-made clutter that dims the Gospel, the full glory of Jesus shines much brighter. A good chunk of the dying world that’s rejected Christianity hasn’t said no to Jesus, but no to a pharisaical version of Him. Some people have been turned off by the Gospel because they’ve thought that becoming a Christ-follower meant giving up having a beer with your friends after work. If this is the “good news” we preach, then the true beauty of a crucified and risen King will become covered in the fog of a man-made, pharisaical “don’t drink” gospel. AA didn’t hang on a cross for your sins and abstaining from alcohol won’t give you resurrection life. Any Christianese, man-made, unbiblical footnotes to the gospel are actually a distraction and offense to the Gospel.

Lower Alcohol Content?

Now, some say that wine in the Bible was nothing more than grape juice and therefore neither Jesus nor the Biblical writers advocated drinking alcohol. Others say that wine was so diluted that it hardly contained any alcohol. But neither of these views can be substantiated by what the Scriptures actually say. If wine was really unfermented grape juice, then why did Paul warn the Ephesians: “Do not get drunk with grape juice, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit?” This doesn’t make sense. It is true that wine back then probably had a lower ABV than today’s stuff. But whatever the alcohol content, people were quite able to get smashed by drinking too much of it (Proverbs 20:1; Isaiah 5:11). Still, the Bible never says not to drink it.

There’s another alcoholic beverage mentioned in the Bible called “strong drink. The Hebrew word for “strong drink,” shakar, refers to fermented barley, which is why some translations call it “beer.” Shakar had an ABV of around 6-12 percent, similar to a Belgium Trippel Ale or a Double IPA. Like all alcoholic beverages, the Bible prohibits abusing beer (Isaiah 5:11; 28:7; Proverbs 20:1; 31:4). But in moderation, drinking beer was encouraged (Proverbs 31:6). In fact, Deuteronomy 14:26 actually commands Israelites to use some of their tithe money to buy some beers and celebrate before the Lord. (Ever hear that verse being read as the ushers are passing the plates?) They were also commanded to offer up two liters of beer to God six days a week and even more on the Sabbath (see Numbers 28:7-10). This is why the absence of beer (and wine) was an outcome of God’s judgment on the nation.

Wine as a Blessing

But the Bible goes further than admitting that drinking is simply allowed. Throughout Scripture, the production and consumption of beer and wine are often connected to the covenant promises of God.

Under the old covenant, wine is a blessing (Deut 7:13; 11:14) and the absence of wine a curse (28:39, 51). When Israel looked to the future, God promises to flood them wine flowing from the mountaintops (Amos 9:14; Joel 3:18) and vats brimming with fresh wine (Joel 2:19, 24).

Jesus signals the beginning of such blessings by creating an over-abundance (150 gallons) of wine at Cana (John 2:1-10). And on the eve of his death, He sanctified a cup of wine as “the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:14-23). When Christ comes back, He’ll prepare “well-aged wine” (Isaiah 25:6)—the stuff I only notice on the top shelf but can never afford—and for theological reasons it will be served, as at Cana, in abundance.

There’s a growing tendency, however, among some younger evangelicals to celebrate their freedom without discipline.

Although a good beer and rich wine are blessings from God, they should be consumed with caution. There’s a growing tendency, however, among some younger evangelicals to celebrate their freedom without discipline. These young, restless, and slightly inebriated libertines are doing some great things for the Kingdom. They’re feeding the poor, living in community and planting authentic churches—or missional communities—all to the glory of God.

Yes, God cares about the poor; He also cares about your sobriety. Enjoying alcohol in moderation takes discipline, and many beer drinkers, I hate to say it, aren’t known for their discipline. A good glass of beer can be celebratory; it doesn’t belong in the hands of an undisciplined 16-year-old playing video games in his mom’s basement. Belgium ale is strong and complex. Savor it, sanctify it, and let it meditate on your palate. Give glory to God, not just to your thirst, when enjoying the blessings that flow from Eden. Drunkenness may not be at the top of God’s list of most heinous sins; neither should it be tossed aside as a relic of American fundamentalism.

Drinking alcohol without celebrating the Cross and Kingdom is theologically anemic. Abusing alcohol mocks the blood of Christ and scoffs at God’s holiness. But moderate, intentional, celebratory and reflective drinking of wine and beer, which contemplates the crucified and risen King and anticipates our future glory, is rooted in the grace that poured from Christ’s veins on Calvary.

Source : Relevance Magazine

Who’s Biggest? The 100 Most Significant Figures in History – CNN Reports

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Jesus Crucified
(Photo : Getty Images/CNN)

CNN Reports Jesus as Number One – Who’s bigger: Washington or Lincoln? Hitler or Napoleon? Charles Dickens or Jane Austen? That depends on how you look at it.

When we set out to rank the significance of historical figures, we decided to not approach the project the way historians might, through a principled assessment of their individual achievements. Instead, we evaluated each person by aggregating millions of traces of opinions into a computational data-centric analysis. We ranked historical figures just as Google ranks web pages, by integrating a diverse set of measurements about their reputation into a single consensus value.

Significance is related to fame but measures something different. Forgotten U.S. President Chester A. Arthur (who we rank as the 499th most significant person in history) is more historically significant than young pop singer Justin Bieber (currently ranked 8633), even though he may have a less devoted following and lower contemporary name recognition. Historically significant figures leave statistical evidence of their presence behind, if one knows where to look for it, and we used several data sources to fuel our ranking algorithms, including Wikipedia, scanned books and Google n-grams.

To fairly compare contemporary figures like Britney Spears against the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, we adjusted for the fact that today’s stars will fade from living memory over the next several generations. Intuitively it is clear that Britney Spears’ mindshare will decline substantially over the next 100 years, as people who grew up hearing her are replaced by new generations. But Aristotle’s reputation will be much more stable because this transition occurred long ago. The reputation he has now is presumably destined to endure. By analyzing traces left in millions of scanned books, we can measure just how fast this decay occurs, and correct for it.

We don’t expect you will agree with everyone chosen for the top 100, or exactly where they are placed. But we trust you will agree that most selections are reasonable: a quarter of them are philosophers or major religious figures, plus eight scientists/inventors, thirteen giants in literature and music, and three of the greatest artists of all time. We have validated our results by comparing them against several standards: published rankings by historians, public polls, even in predicting the prices of autographs, paintings, and baseball cards. Since we analyzed the English Wikipedia, we admittedly measured the interests and judgments of primarily the Western, English-speaking community. Our algorithms also don’t include many women at the very top: Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) [at number 13] is the top ranked woman in history according to our analysis. This is at least partially due to women being underrepresented in Wikipedia.

The 100 Most Significant Figures in History

1 Jesus

2 Napoleon

3 Muhammad

4 William Shakespeare

5 Abraham Lincoln

6 George Washington

7 Adolf Hitler

8 Aristotle

9 Alexander the Great

10 Thomas Jefferson

… Read More

 

Source : Time Magazine

Is Football Your Idol? 3 Ways to Know

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Is Football Your Idol? 3 Ways to Know
(Photo: nearemmaus.wordpress.com)

You say – OF COURSE I don’t idolize football! I’m not even addicted to it, much less prone to making a god of it.

All I do is wear my Chargers jersey to work once a week, check my fantasy lineup first thing every morning (even on non-game days) and live or die with the on-field performance of huge men (and, in the case of college teams, boys) I don’t even know. I don’t even gamble on it! (Anymore…)

Cough.

So let’s be silly for a little bit today in order to get a little bit serious in the end. Here in the U.S., American football is the national pastime. Sometimes, we don’t even shy away from calling it a religion – the professional version is played on Sundays and holidays, it’s awarded a place of prominence in our schedules, and it helps us take our thoughts off our circumstantial troubles for a while.

And while none of these things are bad in and of themselves, as with most things, there’s a line.

I’m dating myself here, but my mother used to claim I had an unhealthy addiction to sports when I would rise early, run to the end of our gravel driveway in bare feet to get the newspaper, and splay the sports section out all over the living room floor to be sure I knew all the latest scoop. “I think this is too important to you,” she’d nag. “What? Why would you even say that, Mom?” “Well, for starters, you’re in your underwear. You could at least put a robe and slippers on when you bust out our front door at 6 a.m.”

So maybe she had a point. In my defense, it WAS Arizona, so it was rarely cold, and we DID live at a secluded end of an 8-house neighborhood…

Over at The Gospel Coalition, Kevin DeYoung has suggested Three Questions to Help Diagnose Possible Football Idolatry. I doubt I’ve ever had a full-blown case, but I’ll do my best to answer DeYoung’s questions accurately and sincerely.

“Is ministry and worship on the Lord’s Day compromised by my allegiance to football on Saturday and Sunday?”

Well, clearly not. Just this past weekend, my son’s baseball travel team had a Sunday tournament, so our familypurposed to attend our church’s Saturday evening service. But then, well, but then we were kinda tired, and Michigan State and Oregon were putting on such a good show that… okay, we stayed home. But most weeks, most weeks, I would like to pat myself on the back for making sure this family gets itself to early service on Sunday so we can get home in plenty of time to take in the full seven-ish hours of NFL RedZone!

“Are my emotions all out of whack?”

Okay, now this is really getting unfair. You’re asking me this a mere 35 hours after I stayed up until 1:30 a.m. (I’m almost always asleep by 10 p.m.) only to watch the San Diego Chargers blow ANOTHER double-digit, fourth-quarter lead. It’s the third straight year that’s happened in their opening game, for crying out loud! Why can’t they finish the job? Where is the killer instinct? Where can I register my complaint?! Aaarrrggghhh!

On the plus side, San Diego’s ineptitude did mean their top wide receiver Keenan Allen was held in check, meaning my opponent failed to generate enough points to beat my fantasy team. And I do have an illogical sense of accomplishment and a cool buzz going from that…

“Can my conversation go deeper than football?”

Well of course it can. Haven’t we already broached the Arizona climate, youth baseball, and underwear as topics this morning?

Seriously though, at least I score better on this question, but that may be because I was once privy to a discussion with a group of men from our Bible Fellowship class who expressed a sense of dread upon coming to class each week. They weren’t big football fans, and so didn’t know if they’d be able to join any pre-class discussions with any other guys.

So whenever I catch myself going too deep into football talk around a non-football audience… or letting my day be ruined or made overly glad because a team or a pretend team performed a certain way… or moving my devotional or worship time around in order to pay homage to football first, what I usually tell myself is:

Get a life!

And that’s the key, isn’t it? We all have a life to live, and that life is defined by what is at the center, what comes first. We all, everyone, even those who claim no belief in a divine being, have a god. Something that takes precedence. Something that gives life drive, purpose, meaning. But there is only one life we can “get” which is also the Source of Life.

In a 2013 article for Crosswalk.com, Chad Gibbs, author of God and Football, looks at this slice of life in his part of the country, the South:

So we’ve established that God and football are both pretty big down here, but which is bigger? Well, I’ve got a theory.

When you attend a church here, you will almost certainly hear people talking about football. Worshipers will gather before the service and discuss in reverent tones what went right and wrong the day before. The pastor will usually reference Saturday’s happenings by either praising a team’s win or mourning its loss, while oftentimes taking a playful dig at the misfortunes of a rival school. Churches sometimes encourage this blending of faith and fanaticism with “wear your team’s colors” day or by having viewing parties for big games — with half-time testimonies, naturally.

Conversely, God doesn’t get a lot of play in SEC stadiums, unless a player injures his neck or your team is lining up for a last second field goal. And sometimes God is called upon to do some damning — usually of referees or offensive coordinators — but that’s it. The SEC doesn’t really have to add God or anything else to their product to fill the seats. There is no “wear your denomination’s colors to the game” day.

Churches have to schedule around football.

And there’s the rub. As DeYoung concludes, “Go ahead and give football a little bit of your weekend. Just don’t give it your worship.” Time for me to “kick off” a renewed set of priorities.

Shawn McEvoy is Managing Editor for Crosswalk.com

 

Source : CrossWalk

Pakistani Pastor Accused of Blasphemy Shot and Killed by Police Officer

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A Pakistani Christian pastor was shot and killed by a police officer while in jail in Pakistan for blasphemy charges. The officer also shot and wounded another man who had been accused of the same charge.
The pastor, Zafar Bhatti worked as a human rights activist for Christians; Bhatti had been charged with blasphemy in 2012 when he allegedly sent text messages that spoke against the Prophet Mohammed’s mother.
Briton Muhammad Asghar, who survived the shooting had been charged with blasphemy in 2010 and sentenced to death for writing letters that claimed he was a prophet. Asghar had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
The men were held in the same prison cell; Bhatti had received death threats.
Xavier Williams speaking for human rights group Life for All said, “This is a barbaric act. There had been threats. The court should have instructed police to ensure Bhatti’s safety. Killing of a person who was falsely accused is mockery of the judicial system. The protectors of the innocent have become the predators.”

Topless Dancers paraded topless outside a Church during Worship Services in act of revenge

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TOPLESS DANCERS PICKET A CHURCH: 3 THOUGHTS
(Photo: denisonforum.org)
Denison Forum Reports – In the 14 years I’ve been writing the Cultural Commentary, I’ve never seen a story like this one: strippers and church members are picketing each other.
New Beginnings Ministries in Warsaw, Ohio has been campaigning against the Foxhole North gentleman’s club for nearly a decade, picketing on weekends and taking photos of guests’ license plates.  According to the pastor, “I take very seriously the responsibility as a pastor to see to it that the gospel of Christ is lifted up, that Christ himself is lifted up, and that evil is confronted.”
Now the club has fought back.  Recently some of its dancers paraded topless outside the church during worship services.  The club owner vows to return every Sunday until the church stops its protests.  Since it’s legal for both men and women to be topless in public in Ohio, the demonstrators were not arrested.
Picketing is one response to a strip club.  Here’s another.
Jesus Said Love is a ministry focused on women in the commercial sex industry.  Its method is to GO, visiting strip clubs and bringing high quality gift bags to dancers and club employees; to LOVE, building intentional relationships with those at the clubs; and to CONNECT, helping people find meaningful community and spiritual resources.
According to Jesus Said Love, roughly 80 percent of exotic dancers are mothers.  Many are the victims of sex trafficking, victims of abuse, and/or need physical and emotional health care.  The ministry exists “to not only meet their spiritual needs, but to provide them with basic resources as well.  Doctors, lawyers, counselors and accountants all volunteer through Jesus Said Love to help these women establish a well-balanced life.”


There are times when Christians are called to take a public stand against sin, whatever the cost.  Jesus didn’t try to build relationships with moneychangers in the temple—he overturned their tables and drove them from his Father’s house (Matthew 21:12-17).  And there are times when working quietly and personally is the best way to deal with the human heart.  Jesus didn’t call Nicodemus out by day—he met with him privately at night (John 3:1-15).
In taking Christ to our fallen culture, how can you know what to do and when to do it?
First: be willing to obey whatever God asks you to do.  Sign the blank check before he fills in the amount.  If he requires a public stand, be willing to pay the price.  If he leads you more relationally, agree to follow his Spirit.
Second: whatever you do, speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15).  Be redemptive in your words and actions.  What matters is not whether you win a debate but whether you help someone find Jesus.  They will not believe God loves them until you do.
Third: measure success by obedience.  As Jesus Said Love puts it, “if we GO, LOVE and CONNECT, then we succeed.”
 For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.

Do you want to live a life in whole-hearted pursuit of loving God and others?

Read today’s First15 at www.first15.org.

Bhutan Pastor Sentenced to Prison for Accepting Ministry Funds

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Bhutan Pastor Sentenced to Prison for Accepting Ministry Funds
(Photo: facebook/VoiceOfThePersecuted)
A Bhutanese pastor has been sentenced to 11 months in prison for receiving donations for his ministry.
Serving in the landlocked country in South Asia located at the eastern end of the Himalayas, Pastor Tandin Yangwal allegedly received $11,864 in contributions from a foreign Christian organization.
“Wangyal was convicted under Article 71 of the Civil Society Organization Act of Bhutan, which outlaws raising funds for activities ‘in contravention of the laws of the country’ and without prior permission. The pastors were arrested in Khapdani village, Dorokha area in Samtse District, on March 5,” according to the Morning Star News.
Sources claim the Dorokha, Samtse District court ruled Yangwal used the funds for training and to share the Gospel, which is against the law in the Buddhist nation.
The Voice of the Martyrs reports that Christians once enjoyed a “measure of freedom beginning in 1965,” but established tighter restriction in 1990.
VOM’s website states:
“Bhutan’s constitution (2008) and other legislation officially protect religious freedom, but the country’s National Security Act (NSA) prohibits any ‘words either spoken or written, or by other means whatsoever, that promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, race, language, caste, or community, or on any other ground whatsoever, feelings of enmity or hatred between different religious, racial, or language groups or castes and communities.’”
While Yangwal has ten days to refute the ruling, he reported to Morning Star News he has already filed an appeal to the Samtse District Court.

What Does Liberty Really Mean for Christians?

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Both people on the right and people on the left “alike seem confused about what liberty and progress really mean and require,” writes Ethics and Public Policy scholar, Yuval Levin in the October First Things.
The confusion, he goes on, “begins from the straightforward premise that liberty consists of the individual’s freedom from coercion and constraint—in essence, the freedom to shape one’s life as one chooses.”
For those on the left, freedom happens through government.
The poor don’t enjoy the freedom the rich can afford. Thus the government takes some of the “excess” from the rich and gives it to the poor. This increases the menu of options the poor are now free to choose.
Women risk pregnancy when they have sex and babies limit freedom so the government sees to it that women can get the contraceptives, abortions, and childcare subsidies they need. This then guarantees that they are as free from the consequences of sex as men are.
Same-sex marriages, family defined any way you wish, no-fault divorce, legalized marijuana, low interest rates on consumer loans, political correctness, and the list goes on—the working assumption is, Levin writes, “Our society is more just to the degree that individuals are free from what are deemed artificial social constraints.” Then he adds, “It’s for this reason that some liberals see ‘political correctness’ as ministering to a greater freedom” and work for “expanded government for the sake of freedom.”
If that sounds like the mirror image of you worldview and politics, consider the view from the right where, Levin writes, this flawed thinking serves as the foundation of the conservative vision of liberty as well.
The difference is that instead of wanting a growing government that provides the means for maximum individual choice, conservatives want a shrinking government that will get out of the way of maximum individual choice.
That is, while the progressive wants to pass laws and increase the size of government to empower the choosing individual, conservatives want to repeal laws and decrease the size of government for precisely the same reason. Both share the same view of the human person and the same view of liberty. Thus both occupy themselves by tinkering with laws and politics believing that good social arrangements are the key to freedom and human flourishing.
But, Levin points out, both also presuppose individuals who are capable of using freedom well: “Thus the dangerous impoverishment of our political culture today: The idea of liberty that both progressives and conservatives generally articulate takes the person capable of freedom for granted without pausing to wonder where he might come from.”
“The older idea of liberty,” Levin continues, “requires not only that people be free to choose but also that they will be able to choose well…. And to become capable of it, we need more than that liberation of the individual from coercion. We need a certain moral formation.”
Proper moral formation makes us capable of liberty, says Levin. It requires that we submit to the structures in which we experience the interplay between freedom and responsibility.
The family is not valuable, he asserts, because of utilitarian considerations (married couples are statistically happier, children in intact families tend to do better at school, children of successful parents tend to be successful). Instead, “the family, more than any other human institution, forms us morally” by thrusting us into relationships about which we have no choice and demanding that we love, take responsibility, and submit to others.
Work forms us morally because it “buttresses dignity, inculcates responsibility, encourages energy and industry, and rewards reliability.”
Education from kindergarten through graduate school is too often viewed as nothing more than vocational training. By contrast, a complete and liberal education “forms our souls through exposure to beauty, to truth, and to the power of the sublime that we can only glimpse through the mediation of rare artistic genius.”
Finally religious institutions are vital to the project. They are “are not just counterbalances but foundations of the liberal order. They command us to a mixture of responsibility, sympathy, lawfulness, and righteousness that align our wants with our duties. They help form us to be free.”
Passing or repealing formal and informal laws in Congress, in our churches, or in our families is easy and the right balance can give the impression of freedom. The moral formation of souls is difficult. Levin calls it “the long way to liberty” and it is central to the Christian understanding of freedom.
Too many of us have forgotten this to the detriment of our families, churches, communities, and country. It’s time to consider Yuval Levin’s timely reminder about real freedom and to get busy forming souls on “the long way to liberty.”
Jim Tonkowich is a writer, commentator, and speaker focusing on the role of religion in our public life. His new book, The Liberty Threat: The Attack on Religious Freedom in America Today is available from St. Benedict Press and other online retailers. 

New Hope

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New Hope Movie

Michael Evans is forced to move to the small town of New Hope in the middle of his senior year. Thrust onto the basketball team just before the playoffs, Michael struggles to fit in, particularly with star player Lucas Green (Ben Davies,Courageous). Compounding the situation, Michael begins dating Jasmine Stone, the former girlfriend of Lucas’ brother Chase, whose suicide shook the entire town to its core. Capturing the life of the modern teenager, New Hope is a powerful story that openly deals with peer pressure, alcohol, sex, relationships, and acceptance.


Directed by Rodney Ray (Flag of My FatherDesires of the Heart), New Hope follows a young man’s fight to turn the other cheek, rise above his tormentor, and forgive a hurting soul. A well-crafted film with a strong Christian message, this inspiring drama reminds us that life’s troubles may test our faith, but God is watching out for us every step of the way.

Watch Now

 

Categories: Drama

 

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Biblica appoints Former Open Doors USA Leader as new CEO

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Carl Moeller named new CEO of Biblica
(Photo: Christian Post/Carl Moeller)

Biblica, a major Bible publishing and translating nonprofit organization, has named former Open Doors USA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Carl A. Moeller as its new CEO this week.

Moeller succeeds outgoing CEO Doug Lockhart as Biblica continues its third century of ministry. He takes the position by unanimous vote from the organization’s board of directors effective Oct. 14.

“Biblica has been doing kingdom work for over 200 years — providing Bibles for those who don’t have any and helping those who do to experience them more deeply,” Moeller said. “I am so thrilled to be joining this incredible global ministry.”

Moeller served three years as a pastor at Saddleback Church, then nine years as president and CEO for Open Doors USA, before founding Sequoia Global Resources in 2012. He will replace Doug Lockhart, who announced last March that he would transition from his role as Biblica’s CEO by early 2015.

As president of Open Doors, Moeller was instrumental in helping churches in the West become aware of the ongoing persecution of Christians in other parts of the world. During his time with Sequoia Global Resources, he helped cultivate philanthropic partnerships to address some of the most intractable global needs, including poverty, autism, education, and more, Biblica officials state. He has worked in more than 75 countries around the world and is an ordained minister with the Evangelical Free Church.

“Throughout our search, we have been careful to seek God’s wisdom and direction as we make this important selection. We feel confident that Carl is the right person to lead Biblica into our next season of ministry,” said Rob Gluskin, chair of Biblica’s Board of Directors. “His unique combination of global experience, organizational leadership, and ministry mindedness is exactly what we need as we help millions of people around the world connect more deeply with the Scriptures.”

“I am grateful that Carl answered the call to become the next leader of Biblica,” said outgoing CEO Doug Lockhart. “Biblica is an amazing ministry, and I believe God will continue to bless its work under Carl’s leadership.”

Biblica, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, translates the complete Bible into the world’s top 100 major languages and is the translation sponsor and worldwide publisher of the New International Version Bible, the most widely used contemporary English translation in the world, the organization states.

 

 

Contact: alex.murashko@christianpost.com@AlexMurashko (Twitter); Alex Wire (Blog)
Source & Original Content : Christian Post

T.D. Jakes Taking Legal Action Against Rapper Young Jeezy for ‘Holy Ghost’ Song

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T.D. Jakes sues Rapper Young Jeezy for 'Holy Ghost' Song
(Photo: facebook/tdjakes)

Bishop T.D. Jakes is not happy with part of his sermon added to rapper Young Jeezy’s “Holy Ghost Remix” song and has threatened to take legal action.

Jakes, the senior pastor of The Potter’s House megachurch in Dallas, Texas, is featured in the introduction of the 36-year-old rapper Young Jeezy’s song, along with rapper Kendrick Lamar. However, Jakes’ team has made it clear that the rapper did not seek permission for using his voice on the record, which could possibly result in a lawsuit.

The pastor’s team took to Facebook to let people know that there was an issue with Jakes’ voice being used on the rap record.

“SPECIAL NOTICE: The ‘Holy Ghost’ remix by Jeezy featuring Kendrick Lamar was produced without the knowledge or consent of T.D. Jakes, TDJ Enterprises, Dexterity Music or its associated companies,” the Facebook message from T.D. Jakes Ministries reads. “We are taking the necessary legal actions to stop the unauthorized use of T.D. Jakes’ intellectual property.”

In the song’s hook, Jeezy, who was born Jay Wayne Jenkins, raps the Rolls Royce that he nicknames a Holy Ghost.

“Please Lord forgive him, you know he got that thug in him, we lust for alcohol and we love women … Got the seats reclined and I be doin’ the most in the back of this Holy Ghost,” Jeezy rhymes on the record.

Lamar also contributed a verse to the song which Jakes does not wish to be associated with.

“I swear to Lord as my shepherd, I’m ’bout to go cop a Lexus. I’m ’bout to go f— Alexis, take this and flood my Rolexes,” Lamar raps. “… Find inner peace inside heaven, find diamond pieces in hell, will I burn.”

Jakes voice is used in the song’s introduction where he states,

“… I’m under attack, but I’m still on fire
I got some chatter, but I’m still on fire
I got some threat, but I’m still on fire
I got some liabilities, but I’m still on fire
If it’s not amazing that I’m on fire
I’ve been to hell and back, but I’m still on fire.”

 

Christine Thomasos of Christian Post reports

Source : Christian Post

Pastor of America’s Fastest Growing Church Pioneers New Small Group Strategy

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Christian Post – A Colorado church tops the Outreach Magazine’s 2014 100 fastest growing churches with an innovated approach to small group.

Cherry Hills Community Church ranked number one with 43 percent growth rate in the last year. The single site church grew to 6,201 members largely under its founder bible scholar Jim Dixon. However its new senior pastor Shane Farmer hopes to sustain that growth by creating section communities within the congregation.

Like small groups, section communities seek to offer members a smaller, more connected experience. Unlike small groups, section communities form and meet primarily on Sunday mornings.

A small part-time staff of 20, Farmer explained, breaks the worship center into sections and assumes leadership of each grouping. The sections then meet before and after church and share an after-service meal together once a month.

Since these communities are formed around where congregants tend to sit every Sunday, certain communities may have a natural affinity for families or young adults or a particular ethnicity, he explained to Outreach.

Farmer took over from Dixon October 20 2013. Before CHCC, the 33 year-old pastor spent nine years with Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek Community Church as an intern first and later a director of discipleship and a teaching pastor. It was at Willow Creek, ranked fifth among the 100 largest churches in America, where Farmer first began creating section communities.

The section community concept offers congregants the benefit of a small group feel without taking additional time out of their week. A possible con however could be that some members may become further entrenched in their own circle of friends rather than meeting and drawing from the experiences of others.

Still CHCC members seem to be taking to the idea. Farmer told Outreach Magazine that church members helped raise $2.5 million to fund the initiative.

Outreach Magazine contacted 27,000 churches to create the 100 Fastest Growing Churches list. The rankings are based on attendance averages, not membership. The final rankings reflect an average numerical gain and percentage gain

Second on the list of fastest growing churches is Perry Noble’s NewSpring Church with over 30,000 members and 34 percent church growth. Steven Furtick’s Elevation Church ranked 11 with over 15,00 members and 20 percent growth in the last year. Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church ranked 79 with 9 percent growth and over 23,000 members. J.D. Greer’s Summit Church ranked 94 with over 7,000 members 10 percent.

Source : Christian Post

Entrepreneur Wants to Find ‘Cure’ for Death

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Dr. Jerry Newcombe
(Photo: Christian Post)

Christian Post reports – The man who co-created PayPal helped solve a big problem, how to make trustworthy payments on the Internet. This successful solution has enriched the lives of everyone—himself included. Now, he wants to think outside the box to solve another problem: Death.

Dr. Jerry Newcombe
(Photo: Christian Post)

Writing for the Telegraph of the UK, Mick Brown penned, “Peter Thiel: the billionaire tech entrepreneur on a mission to cheat death; The co-founder of PayPal and likely the most successful venture capitalist in Silicon Valley is on a mission to change the world through technology – and to find a cure for death.”

When Brown interviewed Thiel, the topic turned to “the question of death. ‘Basically,’ Thiel says earnestly, ‘I’m against it.'” Thiel reportedly returns to this topic often.

Thiel adds, “I think there are probably three main modes of approaching it. You can accept it, you can deny it or you can fight it. I think our society is dominated by people who are into denial or acceptance, and I prefer to fight it.”

When Brown interviewed Thiel, the topic turned to “the question of death. ‘Basically,’ Thiel says earnestly, ‘I’m against it.'” Thiel reportedly returns to this topic often.

Thiel adds, “I think there are probably three main modes of approaching it. You can accept it, you can deny it or you can fight it. I think our society is dominated by people who are into denial or acceptance, and I prefer to fight it.”

I’m reminded of the old story about our 30th president, Calvin Coolidge, a man of few words, who attended church one Sunday morning. When he returned, he was asked what the sermon was about. “Sin,” replied Coolidge. “What did the minister say?” Response: “He’s against it.”

And so Thiel is against death. Well, good luck with that. I am sure there are ways to increase the length and quality of the life that we have and to reduce some of the diseases that prematurely bring death. But ultimately all of these things will only prolong the inevitable.

Studies repeatedly show that getting more exercise within reason, that prayer and meditation, and having an optimistic outlook improve the quality of your life. Attending church on a regular basis tends to lengthens one’s life and also improves the quality of life. This is a repeated finding. It is a God-given desire to want to live forever. But none of this spells the death of death.

Wisdom from the Bible sheds light on this. It is written, “…it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment.” Death is a fact, and it is universal. Yet death is the great enemy of humanity—certainly no friend. Proverbs says those who hate God’s wisdom love death.

Death entered into the world because of sin. In that sense, it is profoundly unnatural. Death is indeed the final enemy to be defeated. However, in one sense, death has already been defeated. Jesus defeated death both on the cross and in His resurrection.

Christ rose from the dead bodily and changed all of history because of it—and the Bible tells us His resurrection is the “firstfruits” of the Christian’s own bodily resurrection to come. How great to know that recently David Limbaugh’s book,Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel, which includes historical evidence for the resurrection, shot up to number one on Amazon.

C. S. Lewis once wrote: “…this universe is at war…it is a civil war, a rebellion [against God]…we are living in a part of the universe occupied by the rebel. Enemy occupied territory—that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”

Man’s works are like beautiful sand-castles, the elaborate kind, with all sorts of intricate details. But eventually they’ll crumble. They’re like beautiful sculptures of ice, destined to melt one day.

C. T. Studd once said, “Only one life, ’twill soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” It isn’t how long you live. It’s what you do with the life you have.

Consider the great Christian hero, Jim Elliot. He and four other young men died as missionaries to Indians in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956.

His widow and female family members of some of the other dead missionaries returned to that place and lived among the tribes-people and brought the gospel to them. Some of the very men who had speared the missionaries to death found new life in Christ through these efforts.

These five missionaries who died so heroically helped spark a new interest in Christian missions at that time. I mention all this because Jim Elliot said famously, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

Reinhold Niebuhr wrote the famous serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” Despite the noble-sounding aspirations of those like Peter Theil, death–at least this side of Christ’s return—is one of those things we “cannot change.”

If you want to live forever, then believe in Jesus Christ who alone has conquered death and will raise to new life all who believe in Him when He returns.

 

Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy Legacy Library and a Christian TV producer. He has also written or co-written 23 books, including The Book That Made America: How the Bible Formed Our Nation and (with D. James Kennedy), What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? His views are his own. www.jerrynewcombe.com
Source : Christian Post

RCCG National Youth Conference

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RCCG Youth Convention

RCCG National Youth Conference

Plan to Attend !

see more on RCCG website –  www.rccg.org

Be Selfish or Happy – It’s a Choice You Can Make

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How You Can Walk Step by Step into a Brand-New Life
(Photo: Courtesy of Joyce Meyer Ministries)

Joycer Meyer – One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t be both selfish and happy. I know this is true through my own personal experience, but more importantly, the Bible has some things to say about the attitude we should have about “self.”

How You Can Walk Step by Step into a Brand-New Life
(Photo: Courtesy of Joyce Meyer Ministries)

For example, love is not selfish. In the Amplified Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “…Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking….” In 1 Corinthians 15:31, the apostle Paul said, “…I die daily [I face death every day and die to self]” (AMP), which basically means he was not self-seeking but instead focused on doing what God called him to do with his life.

There are also scriptures that teach us the importance of having self-control. Galatians 5:23 lists self-control as a fruit of the Spirit, and 2 Timothy 1:7 says that in Christ, we have a spirit “of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.” If you’ve lived very long, you realize that not being selfish requires self-control, because we’re all born with a human nature that is selfish. Think about how babies act: they are only concerned with what they need and usually cry when they don’t get their way.

hankfully, when we experience new life in Christ, we die to sin. Romans 6:11 (AMP) says, “Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.” But even though we die to sin, sin does not die. That’s why we have to continually make the decision over and over again to choose to do the right thing on purpose. And we have what it takes, in Christ, to do what’s right – whether we feel like it or not.

Discover Your True Destiny

As Christians, we’re destined to be molded into the image of Jesus Christ (see Romans 8:29). Jesus is the greatest example of what it means to love others and not live a selfish life. First John 3:16 (NIV) says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

This scripture shows us that Jesus gave everything when He demonstrated His love for us. And we are to follow His example. The truth is, loving others is not always easy, and it always costs us something: time, money, convenience, etc. But through our relationship with Him, we can find the strength and ability to love others, even when it seems to cost more than we think we can give. God is faithful to give us His love, grace and wisdom to reach out and be a blessing to others. And when we do, we end up receiving more joy and peace than we had before.

Now it’s important to understand that God doesn’t expect you to take this to such an extreme that you don’t take care of yourself. We need to use wisdom so we can be healthy emotionally, mentally and physically while we’re helping others. In following Jesus’ example, remember to make your relationship with God your number one priority and do what He puts in your heart to do.

Get the Right Mindset

The world is full of lonely, hurting people who are hungry for the love of God and the hope that is only found in Jesus. I want to encourage you to get rid of a “What about me?” mindset and instead pray, “God, show me someone who needs a blessing. Show me someone I can help.”

We all have room to grow in our relationship with God, and learning how to reach out to others is a big part of that process. Selfishness and always trying to meet your own needs puts you in a position of weakness. But the more you trust God to meet your needs, the more you’ll be free to help others…and the happier you’ll be.

I used to be self-centered and focused on getting my way all the time. And I was miserable! But now I am happier than I’ve ever been because I don’t spend all my time thinking about what I want, what I think and how I feel. The truth is, you can’t be happy if the center of your life is you!

Imagine how different the world would be if everyone would just do one nice thing to help someone else every day. It can be so simple to put a smile on someone’s face. Give a compliment, give something away, take the time to listen, open a door for someone, let someone go before you in line at the store…the list could go on and on.

Make it your business to regularly reach out to people around you, encouraging them and meeting their needs as you are able to do it. Be determined each day to do at least one thing for someone else that makes their life better. Trust me: You’ll discover that serving God by loving others is the most wonderful, exciting thing you can do!

Joyce Meyer is a New York Times bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 90 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Do Yourself a Favor…Forgive (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.

© 2014 Printed with permission of Joyce Meyer Ministries

Millions Will Head Back to Church Sunday For 1 Reason

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Approximately 27,000 churches across the globe are participating in Back to Church Sunday this weekend. (Dwight Burdette/Creative Commons)
(Photo: Chrisma News)

What can entice 3.3 million Americans to leave their homes on a Sunday in the fall?

No, it’s not football. It’s church.

This Sunday, approximately 27,000 churches around the globe are participating in Back to Church Sunday, an ever-growing movement to reach out to communities with the clear message, “Come Back to Church!”

Back to Church Sunday, which started six years ago with only 600 churches involved, is now the largest annual community-based church-outreach effort in the nation. The campaign empowers churches and their members with the tools they need to welcome their neighbors, friends and loved ones back to church, while providing an easy way for everyone in the community to find a welcoming church.

The Back to Church Sunday movement aims to grow the church by reaching those not currently attending. Many may have grown up with a biblical foundation but fallen away due to the business of life or perhaps they’ve never been exposed to the church at all.

“We believe in this day because we know it helps people invite others to church. Back to Church Sunday really got its start from research that showed 82 percent of people said they would attend church if someone they knew invited them, but only 2 percent of church members were inviting others to come with them,” said Scott Evans, founder and CEO of Outreach Inc., the nation’s leading provider of church communications resources that helped launch the initiative.

In addition to churches being able to sign up at backtochurch.com, the information on the roster also allows those who are looking for a church to attend to see what churches in their community are participating. More information about Back to Church Sunday and available resources including videos are available at the Back to Church You Tube Channel, the Facebook page, and backtochurch.com.

 

Original Content by Chrisma News

Teenage Girl Who Escaped ISIS Tells of Rape, Forced Conversion by Islamic Militants

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Teenage Girl Who Escaped ISIS Tells of Rape, Forced Conversion by Islamic Militants
(Photo: CNN Video Screenshoot)

A teenage girl at a refugee camp in Iraq who escaped from ISIS militants has described some of the atrocities being committed by the terror group, including forced conversion to Islam and the rape of young women by ISIS leaders.

“In Mosul they tried to make us change our faith and religion,” a 15-year old girl identified as “Aria” told CNN at the Khanke refugee camp in northwest Iraq. “They said to us, ‘Read our Quran.’ A couple of the girls said, ‘We never went to school — we can’t read.’ I couldn’t understand the Quran.”

Aria was kidnapped over six weeks ago while her family was trying to flee by car from their home in Sinjar, knowing that ISIS militants were coming. A convoy of vehicles carrying the terror group’s black flags surrounded them, and the young girl was taken.

“They forced us out of the car,” Aria said. “The girls and women were separated from the men, including my 19-year-old brother. But they only took the girls, forcing us into a minivan.”

The women were then driven to Mosul, where ISIS has created a stronghold, and taken to a house where they were locked with other teenage girls who had been captured.

Aria said that they were kept for over three weeks under horrific conditions, and that a sheik came to collect 20 girls, including her 14-year-old sister-in-law.

“He forced himself on her. I was so scared. A lot of my friends were raped. It’s hard to talk about it,” she said.

“I see their faces all the time,” Aria continued. “I have nightmares. I can’t stop thinking about how they forced themselves onto the girls. I have seen and been through too much.”

ISIS, which is active in Iraq and Syria, has been accused of beheading children and carrying out mass rapes in the region.

“They are systematically beheading children, and mothers and fathers. The world hasn’t seen an evil like this for a generation. There’s actually a park in Mosul that they’ve actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick,” National spokesman for Iraqi Christians and Chaldean-American businessman Mark Arabo said in a previous interview.

“And they have them in the park. This is crimes against humanity. The whole world should come together. This is much broader than a community or faith. This is crimes against humanity and they are doing the most horrendous, the most heartbreaking things you can think of,” he explained.

Other victims who have managed to escape the terror group, including a 13-year-old boy identified as Mohammed, have also said that ISIS isindoctrinating boys into their ideology at children’s camp, where the militants carry out beheadings, stonings and crucifixions.

Aria and a friend managed to escape by calling her friend’s uncle who knew people that were prepared to help. The girls put on veils and broke through the door in the house where they were being kept, and later the uncle’s friends were able to take them to a safe house on Fallujah.

When she was reunited with her family, Aria learnt that her brother had been killed.

“That made me very sad. I only had one brother. He was only married for six months. I was sad to hear this. They killed him and other men when they took me. They shot him in the head. My mother slept next to my brother’s body all night.”

She said that she is also haunted by guilt that ISIS members raped the other girls at the house once they discovered Aria and her friend had left.

“They raped them because we escaped. That was the punishment. They tightened security so no girls can escape anymore,” the girl said. “I have to live with that.”

 

Source : Christian Post

Is Divorce Equivalent to Homosexuality?

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moore  This week my denomination, through its executive committee, voted to “disfellowship” a congregation in California that has acted to affirm same-sex sexual relationships. This sad but necessary move is hardly surprising, since this network of churches shares a Christian sexual ethic with all orthodox Christians of every denomination for 2,000 years. One of the arguments made by some, though, is that this is hypocritical since so many ministers in our tradition marry people who have been previously divorced.

 The argument is that conservative Protestants already embrace a “third way” because we’ve done so on divorce. Couples divorce, sometimes remarry others, and yet are welcomed within the congregation. We don’t necessarily affirm this as good, but we receive these people with mercy and grace. Why not, the argument goes, do the same with homosexuality.

 The charge of hypocrisy is valid in some respects. I’ve argued for years and repeatedly that Southern Baptists and other evangelicals are slow-motion sexual revolutionaries, embracing elements of the sexual revolution twenty or thirty years behind the rest of the culture. This is to our shame, and the divorce culture is the number-one indicator of this capitulation. The preaching on divorce has been muted and hesitating all too often in our midst. Sometimes this is due to what the Bible calls “fear of man,” ministers and leaders afraid of angering divorced people (or their relatives) in power in congregations. Sometimes it’s due to the fact that divorce simply seems all too normal in this culture; it doesn’t shock us anymore.

… Read More

Article by Russell D. Moore is president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Source : Christian Post

FBI Chief Says he has Identified ISIS Executioner

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ISIS Executioner Identified, FBI Chief Says
(Photo: Screenshoot/ ABC News)

ABC News – The FBI knows the identity of the masked, English-speaking ISIS militant who has been videotaped apparently murdering American hostages, and he is likely from somewhere in North America, FBI Director James Comey said today.

Comey declined to reveal the name of the man, who top U.K. officials previously have saidappeared to be British. Comey told ABC News the FBI and international partners were able to identity him.

In several ISIS videos in which Western hostages appear to be beheaded, an armed militant — possibly the same man every time — stands beside them and delivers statements against Western actions against ISIS in Iraq. Then he takes his knife to their throats.

American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid worker David Haines were all killed in a similarly public, brutal fashion. The life of another British citizen, Alan Henning, was threatened in the last video.

‘Apparent’ That James Foley Executioner Is British, Intel Agencies Race to ID Killer

Meet the Female Pilot Who Led Airstrike on ISIS

Digital Feature: What Is ISIS?

ISIS has been wreaking havoc as it captures large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, and the American military now has the group in its sights amid a sustained, U.S.-involved bombing campaign in Syria. In addition the group’s capabilities in that region, U.S. officials have expressed concern over the group’s “very slick media campaign” pushing out propaganda online and using social media to encourage people around the world to launch attacks in their homelands.

Part of that media campaign is a recent series of propaganda videos, including two showing the beheadings of Foley and Sotloff.

The latest video released by ISIS earlier this week, titled “Flames of War,” is narrated by another man speaking perfect English, but “there is no doubt [he] is speaking North American-accented English,” Comey said. And investigating him further “is a big focus of ours,” Comey said.

Comey also spoke today about the Khorasan Group, another target of U.S. airstrikes this week in Syria. The little-known group was “nearing the execution phase for an attack in Europe or the homeland,” U.S. officials have said. And the group was working to produce “creative” new designs for bombs that could be smuggled onto U.S.- or Europe-bound flights, sources have said.

“That group was at the top of my list of things that I worry about … [because] it is a collection of very bad and experienced terrorists, operating in a safe haven, into which we don’t have complete visibility,” Comey said today.

Due to that “limited visibility,” it’s hard to say whether their attack would come “tomorrow, three weeks from now or three months from now,” he said. “But it’s the kind of threat you have to operate under the assumption that it is tomorrow.”

In a one-on-one conversation with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas just hours after his pending resignation was announced, Attorney General Eric Holder said there’s no doubt Khorasan is “a real threat.”

“Trust me, those of us who have been in the situation room, we have been following them. … [And] we know what their capabilities are,” Holder said.

As for how effective the airstrikes were against Khorasan, Holder said, “Until we know that their capabilities have been very, very degraded, that key people have been eliminated,” authorities have to assume that the group remains a threat.

… Read More

Source : ABC News

Holy Spirit Moves Across Reinhard Bonnke Crusade

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Nearly 15,000 people joined together last weekend at the Reinhard Bonnke Gospel Crusade in Greensboro, North Carolina.
(Photo: Facebook)

We truly experienced a move of the Holy Spirit this weekend! Our Reinhard Bonnke Gospel Crusade in Greensboro, North Carolina, has just finished, and once again we saw hundreds of churches join together across denominational lines to rally around the foot of the cross.

Over the two nights, nearly 15,000 people joined together in prayer and worship and were touched by the Word of the Lord. Each night, hundreds of people streamed to the altars to make a decision to follow Jesus as Savior after hearing the red-hot gospel message preached by evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. What a joy to see so many people move from darkness into light! Our team is busy even now working to connect these precious people into the participating local churches for follow-up and discipleship.

On Saturday night, power from on high was on full display as evangelist Daniel Kolenda prayed for every person in attendance to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Many testified of being healed instantly during times of healing prayer.

God truly is moving across America. Thank you tremendously for praying and standing with us as we believe and endeavor for America to be saved. Your continued support is so appreciated as we prepare for our next gospel crusade in the city of Houston on Feb. 20-21.

Source : Chrisma News

Satanic Agent Target School Kids With Demonic Coloring Books

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Satanic Agent Target School Kids With Demonic Coloring Books

Chrisma News reports –

By bending to the threat of lawsuits and allowing atheists, along with Christians, to distribute materials in Orlando, Florida-area public schools, the door may have been opened to allow a Satanist group to do the same thing.

The Satanic Temple of New York is planning to hand out “educational religious” materials to public school children, according to several published reports on Tuesday.

The materials, which include a coloring and activity booklet for children titled, “The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities,” will be distributed in the coming months. But the Satanist group insists it is not actually aimed at recruiting kids to Satanism through the schools, according to a report on issuehawk.com.

The district in central Florida’s Orange County has not received a formal request from the temple, but school officials say they reserve the right to review all materials, theOrlando Sentinel reported.

The Orange County School Board ruled that Christian groups may distribute Bibles and other religious materials in their public schools. In response, an atheist group called the Central Florida Free Thought Community decided to leave its own fliers for the kids. The brochures, with titles such as “Jesus is Dead” and “Why I am Not a Muslim,” were quickly banned.

But after the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation and its local affiliate group, the Free Thought Community, filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination, the School Board backed down and said it would allow materials from all groups, including atheists, at its high schools.

The Satanic Temple, a relatively new group that supports social justice causes and believes Satan is the “eternal rebel against the ultimate tyrant,” according to theOrlando Sentinel, wants to give out materials that include information for students on protecting themselves from corporal punishment at school.

Like the Free Thought Community, the Satanist group is making a statement that public schools should not be a forum for religious recruitment at all, the report on issuehawk.com said.

“We don’t argue the merits of any one voice in a school environment,” Satanic Temple co-founder and spokesman Lucien Greaves told Broward/Palm Beach New Times for an online report. “We think it’s in the best interests for everyone, especially the kids, that the district not to have religious materials of any kind distributed in schools.”

But, like anything involving the Satanic Temple, blowback is expected.

“If people are offended,” Greaves told New Times, “I hope they realize they need to not take it up with us, but with the School Board, who allowed this to happen in the first place.”

Source : Chrisma News

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